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Eisenhower was the last somewhat respectable Republican president.

Ronald Reagan – He escalated the war on drugs, he tripled the country’s debt, unemployment went up and he helped create the Taliban in an attempt to stave off Russia.

Story by Thor Benson - Images by Muge Karamaci

Republican presidents after Eisenhower:
Richard Nixon – He did a couple decent things for the environment, but he slaughtered the democratic process with the Watergate scandal, he escalated the Vietnam War before finally ending it, criminalized marijuana smoking and he allowed the FBI and CIA to commit atrocities.
Gerald Ford  – He pardoned Nixon. He wasn’t even elected.
Ronald Reagan  – He escalated the war on drugs, he tripled the country’s debt, unemployment went up and he helped create the Taliban in an attempt to stave off Russia. |
George H.W. Bush – War in Iraq. NAFTA. He invaded Panama.
George W. Bush – War in Iraq #2, plus a war in Afghanistan. The Patriot Act. So much to hate.

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Eisenhower was intelligent, he led us into battle on D-Day, he ended the Korean War, created the Interstate Highway System and much more. His civil rights record is certainly not perfect, and I’ll admit I’m not extensively educated on it, but I can’t seem to find any presidents who never did anything I don’t like. Even FDR screwed up majorly a few times, and I typically call him my favorite.
The reason I respect Eisenhower is because he spoke honestly and intelligently. I’d like to take a moment to explain how spot-on his speech on the military-industrial complex was.

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“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations,” he said. I don’t have all the data available to me, but I can confirm the profits of our top ten corporations don’t even get close to the military budget in the United States. The U.S. spend more on its military than the countries with the next 10 highest military budgets combined. We spend around $700 BILLION a year, and the military frequently states costs could be cut significantly, but presidents have to “support the troops,” so they never do.
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“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” he said. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
Right again, Ike. We have to look no further than Halliburton, which had Dick Cheney as a CEO, to realize people with a lot of money to make off that $700 billion budget will do what they can to continue or start wars. Halliburton is a huge military contractor, and Cheney saw that he could get the company $1 billion if we went to Iraq. “When the Iraq War started, Halliburton got a billion-dollar no-bid contract,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in 2009. “Some of the stuff has been so shoddy and so sloppy that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution.”
Yes, that’s right, a fellow Republican said that. Clearly there were some problems.

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“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded,” said Eisenhower. He also saw how money could corrupt the experts and the educators. Any study that specifically claims climate change is not manmade or does not exist is almost certainly from a scholar who saw “the power of money” coming from an oil company or a factory owner. Any researcher who alleges marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol or that those painkillers aren’t addictive saw the power of money. When a check hanging over an experts head changes the path of science and corrupts our government policies, one can only blame the human flaw we call greed.
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Eisenhower was right about a lot of things, and the lot of Republicans who came after him were severely disappointing bastards. That’s not to say I’m a huge fan of all Democrats. Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which was a large factor in what caused the recession. FDR, my buddy, allegedly knew Pearl Harbor was going to happen and did nothing because he needed public support for starting a Pacific side to World War II (an unpopular idea until the incident). Though I’ll go ahead and say most politicians are corrupt and terrible, the Republican presidents since Eisenhower have been especially fucking warped.

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